By Michelle O’Riordan, Solicitor, Employment and Pensions Unit
The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Ms Mary Coughlan, T.D. announced the introduction of revised qualifying conditions for new work permits for first time entrants to the labour market. It is anticipated the proposed changes will come into effect from 1st June 2009. Amendments have been made to the Green Card List which are effective from 15th April 2009.
The changes to work permit arrangements and green card scheme apply to non EEA nationals. The aim is to ensure that Ireland recruits employees from Ireland and within the EU and wider EEA to assist skilled employees in the existing labour market to find work.
The main features of the measures are:-
- Work riders, domestic workers and HGV drivers will be ineligible and other occupational categories will be subject to ongoing review of their continued eligibility
- No new permits will be given for low paid jobs paying under €30,000 per annum
- It will be more difficult to obtain a permit renewal as there will be a labour market needs test and higher fees
- The market needs test is to be strengthened by doubling the length of time the job must be advertised
- Spouses and dependants of principal work permit holders will have to apply in their own right under the standard eligibility criteria and fees – rather than being able to obtain a permit for all job categories with no labour market needs test or application fee.
- The following occupations have been removed from the Green Card eligible list for jobs with salaries between €30,000 and €59,999 per annum (those occupations will continue to be eligible if they have salaries of €60,000 per annum or above):-
- Healthcare: Registered midwives; physiotherapists; psychologists; social workers; medical physicists; and speech and language therapists.
- Financial Services: Economists; statisticians; underwriters; claims assessors and analysts; securities specialists; fund and investment management specialists; common law jurisdiction lawyers; investment fund professionals; fund accountants; fund valuations professionals; fund administrators; custody specialists; transfer agents; and hedge fund specialists.
- Industry/Services: Marketing Managers.
For further information contact our employment law specialist Michelle O’Riordan or our Employment and Pensions Unit.
Further information (including the new fees) is also available on the website of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment – www.entemp.ie